How can you design an effective, useful, and appealing dashboard?

Step 1, Pick your chart.
powerpivot dashboard

My thoughts, try not to look at too many things at once. In fact, when I’m cre­at­ing a dash­board or specif­i­cally dig­ging for insights I try to fol­low a one-to-many or many-to-one design, then start slic­ing the data. Oth­er­wise I’ll tend suf­fer from paral­y­sis by analy­sis and start falling down the rab­bit hole of causal loops.  I try to iso­late an event, time frame, or attribute, and look for out­liers, trends, rela­tion­ships. Some­times less really IS more.

Kasper high­lights some really good points in his post below:

http://www.powerpivotblog.nl/dashboard-design-best-practice

And if you’re really bored you can watch this hour long pre­sen­ta­tion about dash­board design. Unfor­tu­nately not as engag­ing as your aver­age TED talk, but def­i­nitely filled with solid advice.

Every 13 y.o. Should Be Forced To Read This

Obvi­ous Adams: The Story of a Suc­cess­ful Busi­ness­man is about as straight and nar­row as a writ­ing gets, but some­times you need that old friend to just “give it to you straight,” and that is the beauty of this book. Cut through all the fog, right down to the goals; what should be done to achieve them?  The answer is usu­ally star­ing you in the face.  You’ve just got to be able to fil­ter out all the use­less data, dis­trac­tions, fear, gos­sip, and pol­i­tics in order to see what needs to be done.  It applies to most things in life: rela­tion­ships, hob­bies, sports, not just busi­ness.  And that’s the true value in this book.

It’s the clear, log­i­cal, think­ing that’s refresh­ing.  I’d give you some exam­ples but con­sid­er­ing how long it is you might as well just read the whole thing.  This book is only about 60 pages long, in giant font style, so it shouldn’t take more than a cou­ple cups of cof­fee to get through.  I’d sug­gest rent­ing it from the library (remem­ber those places?) but you can order copies for about a $1 if you want to trick peo­ple you know into read­ing it.  If I had chil­dren I would make all of them read it.  I’ll prob­a­bly stash it some­place where I can throw it at one of my friends should they come by seek­ing advice, like in a bad sit­com, I’ve always wanted to do that.